Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Design & Photography

OSA Relies On Martin Audio Solution For Successive Navy Pier Events

OSA International recently had to produce back-to-back events for two clients who used Chicago’s venerable Navy Pier in very different ways. Fortunately, they had a Martin Audio MLA system to help them overcome a number of challenges.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Designight 2016 had the venue for one night while the Gateway for Cancer Research Cures Gala 2016 was set for the following evening. Both of the events were completely different technically, and had to be strategically designed to provide both clients exactly what they were looking for.

As an architectural organization, AIA preferred to show less of the technical production elements and highlight the natural historic beauty of the venue. In contrast, the Cures Gala event required extensive lighting and projection trusses, including a flying stage over the audience area. With the tight schedule between events and limitations of the facility, all equipment had to be installed, tested, and stay throughout both events, which meant OSA had to make the equipment as inconspicuous as possible.

Michael Ravenhill and The Mandell Entertainment Group were Executive Producers for the 25th annual Gateway for Cancer Research 2016 Cures Gala with OSA as the Technical Producer and David Foster & Friends as entertainment including Peter Cetera, CeeLo Green, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sinbad, Michael Bolton and The Tenors.

With six semis and two 26-foot box trucks of audio, video, lighting and band gear, space was at a premium for the event. The ground level and audience space was packed with guest tables that only allowed enough room for audio consoles on the floor, while video, lighting, audio control and dimmer racks were on the balcony level with limited access.

The Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier is known as a challenging audio environment because of parabolic effects added by the domed ceiling, its reflective open steel structure, a polished cement floor and glass sides. A traditional bandshell that makes up the upstage wall multiplies the acoustical challenge as volume is added.

To overcome these issues, OSA removed the house audio and replaced it with 10 Martin Audio MLA cabinets a side, using the system’s pattern control to minimize the reflections and increase direct frequency response to the audience seating area, along with 12 specially tuned MLX subs for a balanced low-end response. Plexiglass was used wherever possible to shield direct sources such as drums while guitar amps were isolated into back rooms. The audio system also included two Studer Vista 5SR consoles for the band and a Soundcraft Vi1 for the business portion and videos.

The OSA crew for the event included Carmen Educate (Sound Designer and Entertainment Mixer) Michael Solomon (Production Manager), Joseph Burger and Tom Georgitsis (Technical Directors), Peter Wiejaczka (Production Mixer), Peter Brennan (Entertainment Monitor Engineer), Paul Educate (Communications and RF Technician), Orlando Calzada and Adam Rosenthal (System Technicians).

Asked about mixing FOH for the event, Carmen Educate says, “The David Foster & Friends show went into the Navy Pier Rotunda, and the acoustics in this venue are quite challenging to overcome. Because of this, it was critical to get the stage volume down to a minimum, which included minimizing the SPL from stage monitors, musical instruments, and amplifiers reflecting off of the bandshell.

“The mix experience is always stellar with the MLA system, and most importantly, our show is consistent sounding from arenas and large theaters, to exhibition halls, that are sometimes not ideal for sound clarity. It definitely drives like a super car, because you can feel every move you make at any speed, with precision. With MLA, I can achieve a better quality sound with less SPL and ear fatigue for the audience. My mix translates perfectly if I am running my show at 92dB or 105dB to accommodate for a certain audience or artist lineup.”

Summing up, Carmen concludes, “Mixing on the MLA system is always a distinct pleasure. It’s by far the most advanced and efficient PA being used in the live sound market today, when properly calculated and deployed. MLA has always impressed me with its final results, and consistently helps bring the audience into a great sounding studio environment that our artists and clients have come to expect.”

Photo credit: ©Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design

For more information about OSA International, please click to www.OSAcorp.com.

For more information about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

Steely Dan

Steely Dan and Steve Winwood Tour with MLA

OSA International, Inc. of Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville is again supporting Steely Dan on "The Dan Who Knew Too Much Tour" featuring special guest Steve Winwood with a Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system.

The tour encompasses a variety of venues from amphitheaters to arenas which, given two iconic artists with different musical signatures and Steely Dan’s reputation for superior audio, places extra pressure on the OSA crew of Kevin Gillson (system engineer) and Werner Gerbracht (stage and PA tech) to excel in every kind of situation, no matter what challenges the weather including hail stones that caused audience evacuations at Red Rocks%emsp;and the acoustics of each venue hold in store.

In addition to those pressures, Kevin, the man who implements Steely Dan FOH Engineer Mark Dowdle’s vision for each show, is working with MLA for the first time with only certified training and limited exposure to the system and software. Even with these challenges, the crew has exceeded the expectations of both engineers and delivered exceptional and repeatable results for every show.

"I’ve worked with another system for many years," Kevin explains, "but was really impressed that even with the large amount of information that goes into the MLA box, the software is straightforward and easy to grasp quickly, which was a big key for this because I had to jump right out and start using it. Using this system from design to deployment has been a real eye opener on how well it can deliver the artist’s mix to the audience as well as take the problems of the room out of the equation."

In terms of a typical setup, the main configuration for sheds and arenas consists of 13 MLA and one MLD downfill per side, with nine MLA Compact a side for off hangs and four MLX subs a side either flown behind the MLA or ground-stacked depending on the venue and setup time.

Asked about MLA, Kevin responds,

"Overall, I was very impressed. How, with MLA, you can walk through the horizontal coverage and maintain the stereo image. You don’t have the hard definition between the right and left hang that you have with other systems––it’s seamless from side to side. I also like the Martin Audio crossover points where the vocal range hits a paper cone instead of a horn, which makes it much smoother, more natural and easier to listen to.

"MLA’s control is also helpful,"

adds Kevin.

"I can hard avoid 20 feet upstage from the stage edge, which makes the PA extremely quiet on stage for the artists. I can then control and extend the coverage for the first seats as far back as I need to and again use hard avoid on problem areas like a balcony edge or a shed roof that comes down in back of the pavilion, which has been very helpful in controlling room acoustics.

"With other systems’ subs, I would try to use cardioid setups but still had too much low end behind the cabinets. I have found that the MLX subs are so quiet in a standard configuration that Vern will occasionally ask me if they’re on. I’ve also had sound engineers in the audience who can’t believe we’re only running four subs a side and tell me how amazing they sound. The MLX subs are so musical and their tonality is just phenomenal."

Having succeeded with MLA on this tour after years of using other systems, Kevin has a special perspective at this point:

"There are a lot of PAs out there and they all do things differently. But working with MLA where the approach is phase coherence at the listener instead of at the box really makes sense in so many ways. One benefit with MLA versus other systems is the system’s stability with wind. With other systems, when we get wind off stage coming across the PA, the mix moves with it. With MLA, I can hear the mix and it doesn’t shift in a strong wind. That blew me away.

"Because I had such a short learning curve, I was concerned about having to deploy MLA for a band with Steely Dan’s reputation, but the system has performed phenomenally well for the tour and has been easy to deploy, no matter what type of venue, weather or circumstances."

James Towler, who’s worked with Steve Winwood for 19 years both as his FOH and recording engineer as well as managing Steve’s Wincraft Music Studios in Gloucestershire, is also using MLA for the first time.

According to James, his primary goal when mixing Steve live is "getting vocal presence out of the PA and making sure everyone can hear the Hammond."

"With the MLA, I haven’t had to touch the Graphic EQ on my board because of the way the system’s been performing. It really became apparent when we were in Dallas at the American Airlines Center that it was the best vocal presence I’ve ever gotten in a live situation and I’ve mixed that room a few times. I’m really pleased with the definition I’m getting from the PA."

As it turns out, James uses a different approach for mixing than Mark Dowdle, his counterpart with Steely Dan: "Mark and I have completely opposite setups, but we’re both very similar in terms of our philosophy, which is get the right microphones and mic pres, and you’re well on your way."

Focused on a "high quality front end," James’ setup starts with a DiGiCo S21 console into a Dante networking system that includes Millennia mic pres converted to Dante, Focusrite RedNet interfaces, a PreSonus RM32AI rackmount mixer "for sorting out his monitor feeds," and Shure PS 1000 in-ear monitors on a Digital Audio Livemix personal monitor system.

Commenting on the MLA system, James reports that "Steve is pleased with the way things are sounding. He’s happy because the rejection on the back side of the PA is fantastic so we don’t have to balance Front of House level with what the performer needs on stage.

"I have really enjoyed mixing on the MLA. When it comes up and we get the sweet spots, it sounds like I’m back in the studio. I can get that vocal presence right in my face and be both a live and studio engineer!"

For Steely Dan, highly esteemed veteran FOH engineer Mark Dowdle is again at the helm as Audio Supervisor and Mixer. With a list of credits that includes Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner and Jackson Browne to name a few, Mark has successfully met the challenge of mixing Steely Dan live for numerous tours over the last five years with the last three tours being on MLA with OSA.

When mixing the band, Mark’s goal is "to reproduce their music as accurately as possible, getting as close as I can to the standards they use in their recordings."

By mutual agreement with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, his process is 100% analog. Mark mixes on a Midas XL4 console with 57 channels including stereo modules. As mentioned, he believes "getting the microphones, mic pres and mic placement correct is the first order of business. I choose microphones best suited to the instruments and vocals rather than based on brand."

Mark is wholly responsible for achieving consistent sound from one venue to the next and tuning the system after it’s rigged, a process that requires instinct, judgment and flexibility. As he explains,

"When it comes to Steely Dan, all venues are somewhat challenging because they tend to take away from the concert experience instead of adding to it.

"So you have to take a good look at the situation and figure out ahead of time what will work the best in that scenario in terms of how to do the hang, how many boxes to use, how to aim the PA and tune it to the room. You put the system up and do the best you can to anticipate what the room’s going to do, and hopefully you’ll end up close to where you need to be.

"In terms of this system, MLA is very coherent with a lot of definition and separation. The extended high end has a lot to do with what happens in the middle of the frequency range and how that appears in the mix. I’m usually pretty consistent where I end up from one venue to the next.

"The network and software make it easier to identify setup issues and we’ve really had none to speak of,"

Mark concludes. "Fortunately, the system has been very dependable and steady so I haven’t had a real reason to rely on that. Overall, I’ve enjoyed using MLA. It’s given me everything I’ve needed from start to finish on this tour."

Martin Audio PA by OSA on Steely Dan Tour

The Dan Who Knew Too Much Tour

The Dan Who Knew Too Much Tour

Mark Dowdle mixing Steely Dan

Article Source

"Steely Dan and Steve Winwood Tour with MLA" by Martin Audio Ltd.

XGNewsImage-260x260

On Location at the Austin Summer X Games with Extreme Sports Sound Designer Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson’s life could be the envy of any extreme sports fan. As the audio designer for ESPN’s X Games for the last 16 years and, for nearly as long, having worked a year-round schedule of Red Bull live sports events, Ed has witnessed every conceivable sport stunt and thrives on providing great live sound to keep audiences hyped, engaged and informed across multiple events and venues.

The annual Summer X Games, with its heart-stopping skateboard, bicycle and motorcycle events, typically spends three years in a location before moving to another part of the country. June 2–5, 2016 was the swansong of the X Games’ Austin, Texas stint and proved to be the trickiest. Bouts of torrential rain, lightening, fierce winds and extreme heat (even for Texas) complicated the games for competitors, attendees and crews alike. But Ed has seen it all and simply takes it in stride.

We recently spoke with Ed about the four-day Austin adrenaline fest to find out how he preps for the games and operates during the events. “Most of my work is done prior to the event,” said Ed. “Maybe a month in advance, I’ve worked out the audio design, the layout of the various event sites and speaker plans, then changing them, as needed, due to budget constraints. Then I hand my paperwork over to On Stage Audio who has an excellent crew. They’ve been doing the show with me for about six years now, and we have a really great relationship.”

By the time Ed arrived in Austin, four days before the first event, his crew had been onsite for three days. “When I walked in, everything was in place up to a certain point. The first thing I always do is look over my documentation and confirm all of the gear and placement. Then our Live Event Producer, Sharon Bauer, Technical Director, Sheri Sternberg and I interface with the TV crew to make sure that our intercom systems are on track and that we’re all onboard with how we’re attacking the various venues, combining resources whenever possible,” he said.

“Next, I moved on to talking to Phil Reynolds [OSA], my lead networking expert, who built what I believe must be one of the largest plans to date. Given all the locations, we had a total of 12 fiber optic cables. The shortest was 1,200 feet and the longest was a mile and a half. All of them needed to work simultaneously between two console positions with video departments, announce packages and everything that goes with them, so that it could all be mixed through one or both consoles or split in half, as needed.”

One of Ed’s key considerations at every show is finding a workable balance between his output and the television microphones. “A major part of my job is to keep the crowd pumped by really capturing the action. But, the show also has to work for the television audience,” said Ed. “What we really have is a show inside of a show. Standing in my work area or sitting in the grandstand, you would hear my commentators, experts in the field, athletes who know all the scripts, and flips and back flips. Even if a contender improvises something, they know what it’s called. Those are the people who sit in my chairs and call our shows to the live event crowd.”

“If you’re watching the games on ESPN, you’ll hear the ambient of my show—the music and possibly ramblings of my announcers. But TV also has its own announcers, and overall, the challenge is always figuring out what TV can and can’t handle.

With up to four inches of rain falling in an hour, the Austin X Games’ most volatile obstacle turned out to be the weather and, for safety’s sake, the competition had to intermittently be put on hold. “We just had to deal with it. We had to figure out, minute by minute, what we could set up and what we couldn’t due to climate constraints. A lot of equipment needed to be repeatedly tarped and untarped because of the rain – and then lightening would move into the area, and we would have to stop and then recover.

“It was pretty dramatic at times, having to pour water out of the JBL VRX932 and then pick up the PRX712s that got blown over by the wind. What can you do? You put them up, see what works and do your best to replace whatever you have to with the extra gear you bring along. Overall, we did very well with maintaining the audio being heard. Everyone was notified of storm warnings and stuff like that. We had a plan, and it worked perfectly. The audience had a great time.”

After all these years with the best seats in the house, we wondered if Ed still feels the exhilaration of the athletic events.

“I’m very passionate about it,” he said. “When I was a kid, I would build little ramps and do jumps on my bicycle—coincidentally, that was in the back of the JBL factory, which was right near where I grew up in Northridge, California. To be an adult and make a living off of something that I did back then has been incredible. I never expected life to go in this direction and always enjoy watching what people bring to the sport—the new inventions and the new craziness that happens. It’s all part of a California lifestyle that I grew up in during the 70s that somehow just bloomed into my being part of this show. I’m very lucky; action sports have been really good to me.”

Along with his live sports work, Ed is also approaching his 18th year of mixing award show and key event sound for the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Many thanks to Ed Johnson for sharing his story. Have you worked at an extreme sports event or in severe weather? Share your story about the technical challenges you faced—and how you overcame them—in the comments.

Article Source

“On Location at the Austin Summer X Games with Extreme Sports Sound Designer Ed Johnson” by Marina Muhlfriedel

Broadcast-Quality Graphics at AirFest 2016

The Big Picture: Technology Reshaping Air Shows

OSA International, Inc., in partnership with Reality Check Systems and TrellisWare Technologies, helped to pilot an air show video wall system with broadcast-quality graphics featuring real-time footage, team biographies, aircraft information, social media, sponsor commercials, PSAs and more for the Tampa Bay AirFest at MacDill Air Force Base this past March. Focusing on the rewards and challenges of offering a big screen at an air show, Ric Peterson’s “The Big Picture: Technology Reshaping Air Shows” in Air Shows Magazine is an excellent read on the rewards and challenges of offering a big screen to audiences like that of the Tampa Bay AirFest, as well as reaching fans through smaller screens including mobile devices.

Peterson explains:

“Today’s air show has evolved well beyond pitching a lawn chair and ogling aircraft. Technology is reshaping our industry and, while large screens may be too expensive for most, there is a rapidly growing expectation that we offer them. Most other outdoor events already use at least one big screen along with the creative use of small screens such as smart phones, tablets and wearable devices. Some within our industry have designed apps while other performers and shows are taking advantage of Twitter and YouTube’s live-streaming options. They all have their rewards and challenges.

“I’ll start big.

“Nothing beats the impact of a big screen to create maximum impact, entertain your fans, increase advertising effectiveness, give promotions the extra punch and connect with your crowd..”

Media Solutions [powered by OSA] supplied two large 7.8mm LED walls at 40′ wide x 20′ tall, a 4K broadcast engineering system, LED distribution system, high-def cameras and more for the Tampa Bay AirFest. With RCS providing the graphics, OSA and RCS were able to create a mobile broadcast studio and the largest-scale live production in air show history. This level of scope typically requires a large outside broadcast truck.

Peterson quoted Angel Banchs, Director of Engineering for Media Solutions [powered by OSA] and technical coordinator for the video system at the Tampa Bay AirFest, several times throughout.

Banchs starts with the fan perspective:

“We had a bit of inclement weather on Saturday. The beauty of the system is that we were able to immediately put up a live weather map of the upcoming thunderstorm. We were able to show the audience that they should head to the first aid hangars for their safety. Nothing got the audience’s attention like seeing the coming band of thunderstorms in real time. This was one of the features that the security forces thought brought a tremendous level of safety to the AirFest.

“The system also allowed us to do a two-window style split on the screens. Because we had so many angles on the action, we were able to not only highlight the acts currently performing, but also the performers who were up next, keeping the audience engaged at all times.

“We provided three long lens cameras to get closer to the action. With our longest lens, we could clearly see right down to the edge of runway 22 at MacDill. We were able to keep an eye on the aircraft much further away than audience members. This kept the audiences engaged even when they could not see the aircraft on their own. With multiple angles on the action, we were able to get reactions from the crowd as well as performers when they returned from their performances. We were also able to grab shots of performers signing autographs and engaging with the crowd. Audiences loved the NASCAR style victory laps we were able to film in front of the air boss stand. We were also able to turn the camera on the audience and invite them into the show. We did several audience shots to let them know that they were an important part of the AirFest. Kids and parents loved seeing themselves up on the jumbo screens. Everyone loves to see kids engaged and in awe of the amazing performances happening right in front of them.”

OSA used TrellisWare Technologies, a San-Diego based military radio communications contractor, to assist in attaching the cameras to the flying aircraft and aerial performers. Multiple video feeds from as high as 13,000 feet were sent out over IP to a decoder in the broadcast control room, giving the attendees an intimate view of the action.

Banchs continues:

“TrellisWare Technologies were able to put cameras everywhere we wanted and more. The TrellisWare guys are usually down range helping Navy SEALs and Special Forces guys with their live field communications. They provide communications in critical situations. This is why we thought they would be a perfect fit for the AirFest. Jumbo LED screens were provided by OSA Media Solutions who set up two 40 x 20 foot LED screens to project all of the aforementioned action to our audience members. The screens are all weather and high definition. This allowed us to present our show in the highest quality possible. The screens are modular so they can be built in any size desired. The two screens were set up at either end of the show line to reach as many audience members as possible.”

Peterson continues to discuss both the rewards and challenges of offering both big screens like OSA provided at the Tampa Bay AirFest and little screens like smaller display monitors and apps. Air Shows Magazine is an award-winning publication for ICAS members. For more information, visit www.airshows.aero.

About OSA

OSA International, Inc. consistently produces unforgettable live events of every type and scale. With over 30 years of experience, OSA utilizes the finest in project management, LED, video equipment and audio systems through our offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville. Our engineering expertise and industry leading technologies combine with client visions to deliver spectacular results every time. From concept to completion, OSA is with you every step of the way. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

About RCS

Reality Check Systems (RCS) ignites on-air viewing experiences for some of the most-watched events events on television. With offices in Los Angeles and London, RCS partners with the world’s leading sports leagues, federations, networks and social media giants to fuel audience engagement through a customized fusion of dynamic graphics, real-time data and social media. To give shape to each client’s unique vision, RCS develops sophisticated graphics and production systems that can be seamlessly deployed in a wide array of professional environments. www.realitychecksystems.com

About TrellisWare Technologies

TrellisWare Technologies is a global leader in highly advanced communication algorithms, waveforms, and communication systems that work when nothing else does. TrellisWare provides solutions to communication problems with products that are used in military and commercial settings worldwide. Learn more at www.TrellisWare.com/

Jumper POVs at the 2016 AirFest

Florida Air Show Offers Pilot, Jumper POVs

Tampa Bay, FL — More than 120,000 visitors to Airfest2016—one of the world’s largest air shows—were treated to enhanced video entertainment at this year’s event in March, with large-scale video walls featuring live footage of aerial performances at the event, held at MacDill Air Force Base.

“Compared to typical live-event productions, air shows have historically been slow to adopt new technologies, but this year we wanted to raise the bar and show the community what’s possible,” said John Schwartz, AirFest deputy director, who started planning last year in order to create an entirely new viewing experience for the 2016 show.

Schwartz sought out a production that would show views of in and outside of the aircraft, along with pilot statistics, while elevating creative marketing options for the sponsors that largely funded the free community event. Reality Check Systems, a Los Angeles-based graphics and control packages designer, and technical services provider, OSA Media Solutions–collaborated with Schwartz on the enhanced video entertainment—feeding real-time footage of flying aircraft and cockpit views, interlaced with graphics of pilot bios, aircraft profiles, attendee tweets and sponsorship logos in 1080p to two ABSEN LED video walls measuring 40 feet wide by 20 feet tall. OSA chose the C7 line of ABSEN video walls because of its weather proof design and ability for high light output in sunlight. RCS and OSA designed the graphics to fit the military aesthetic and hashed out a workflow blueprint for the show’s production.

To achieve this, OSA used three Sony HXC-100 broadcast-grade cameras for their main ground shots. One HXC-100 had a 100x Fuji broadcast lens package for long distance shots; a second had a 40x Fuji broadcast lens package and a third mobile HXC was used for interviews. For an extra angle, Schwarz had another Sony HXC-100 fixed to a military vehicle to track aircraft during takeoff.

The most compelling shots of the AirFest production were inside views of the aircraft cockpits. GoPro Hero 4 cameras were fixed inside of a SOCOM C-130 transport, a MIG-17 Russian Fighter, a T-28 Trainer, and the RV-8 Acrobatic Wild Blue Aircraft. A few GoPros were also fixed to several skydiving SOCOM Para commandos as well.

In order to get live video from the airborne aircraft to the production crew, OSA used TW-400 CUB radios and a wireless mesh network to transmit footage to three ground-based receivers. The radios and mesh network were provided by TrellisWare Technologies, a San Diego-based developer of military radio communications technology. Video was transmitted via IP—from distances as high as 13,000 feet—to a decoder in the AirFest control room.

In the control room, a graphics operator interlaced the appropriate graphics to the chosen video feeds, which were output to the video walls via a Ross Carbonite Black switcher. RCS provided the social media software to share live tweets as graphics and pre-recorded sponsor commercials were pulled from a D3 media server.

Since the event, RCS and OSA have fielded several inquiries from bases and commercial air shows looking to employ a similar setup, according to the companies.
Schwartz added, “Though we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of integrating in-cockpit audio/video, real-time aircraft statistics and advertising/sponsorship integration, we’ve set a new standard for production in the airshow industry with successful deployment of this workflow and plan to continue working with RCS and OSA to see how we might apply their expertise in other facets of our operations.”

Article Source

"Florida Air Show Offers Pilot, Jumper POVs" by Cameron Vigliano

About OSA

OSA International, Inc. consistently produces unforgettable live events of every type and scale. With over 30 years of experience, OSA utilizes the finest in project management, LED, video equipment and audio systems through our offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville. Our engineering expertise and industry leading technologies combine with client visions to deliver spectacular results every time. From concept to completion, OSA is with you every step of the way. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

About RCS

Reality Check Systems (RCS) ignites on-air viewing experiences for some of the most-watched events events on television. With offices in Los Angeles and London, RCS partners with the world’s leading sports leagues, federations, networks and social media giants to fuel audience engagement through a customized fusion of dynamic graphics, real-time data and social media. To give shape to each client’s unique vision, RCS develops sophisticated graphics and production systems that can be seamlessly deployed in a wide array of professional environments. www.realitychecksystems.com

About TrellisWare Technologies

TrellisWare Technologies is a global leader in highly advanced communication algorithms, waveforms, and communication systems that work when nothing else does. TrellisWare provides solutions to communication problems with products that are used in military and commercial settings worldwide. Learn more at www.TrellisWare.com/

AirFest Video Wall

AirFest 2016 Live Production Reaches New Heights With Modern AV Workflow From RCS And OSA

Tampa Bay, FL — 120,000 Tampa Bay residents who assembled at MacDill Air Force Base earlier this year for AirFest 2016, one of the world’s largest air shows, received a front row seat to all the action on the ground and in the sky. For the first time, attendees could view everything from military aircraft displays to aerial performances on large-scale video walls featuring real-time footage interlaced with graphics detailing pilot bios, aircraft profiles, attendee tweets and more. Taking advantage of a graphics and AV workflow developed by Reality Check Systems (RCS) and Media Solutions, a division of OSA International, Inc., AirFest pulled off the largest-scale live production and stream in air show history.

Having begun event preparations last year, AirFest Deputy Director John Schwartz set out to mastermind an entirely new viewing experience for the 2016 show. He envisioned a production that would highlight aircraft and performer statistics and showcase in-cockpit video, while also expanding creative marketing options for sponsors, who largely fund the community event. Given the size of the global air show community, Schwartz also saw an opportunity to use the production to reach a larger audience, opting to extend the workflow to facilitate a live stream of the festivities on the AirFest website, as well as a YouTube recording of the event post-show.

“Compared to typical live-event productions, air shows have historically been slow to adopt new technologies, but this year we wanted to raise the bar and show the community what’s possible,” Schwartz shared. “Having a full-screen video production in place enabled us to entertain attendees with new engaging visuals, and also incorporate sponsor ads in a fun new way, all without degrading the experience.”

Ahead of the event, Schwartz and his team worked closely with RCS and OSA to establish a military aesthetic and refine the end-to-end workflow, hammering out the smallest details down to the graphics font size. RCS’ crew first revamped a previously designed graphics package for the base, adding a new palette and templates including: video boxes for sponsor commercials, right and left slabs for pilot and team IDs and bios, emergency full screens and more.

Once RCS completed the graphics package, OSA and RCS developed workflow blueprints. Giving attendees an intimate view of the action required OSA to attach cameras to flying aircraft and aerial performers, so they turned to technology partner TrellisWare Technologies – a San Diego-based military radio communications technology company who lent its gear to the production.

OSA linked eight GoPro Hero 4 cameras and three Sony HXC-100 broadcast-grade cameras (attached to various airplanes, jumpers and vehicles equipped with transmitters and receivers) to TrellisWare’s TW-400 CUB radios and a wireless mesh network, as well as three receivers on the ground. The setup enabled multiple video feeds from as high as 13,000 feet to be sent out over IP to an on-the-ground decoder in a broadcast-quality control room equipped with RCS’ portable Uppercut HD production solution. A graphics operator controlling the system then interlaced the appropriate graphics and footage, and output desired feeds in 1080p to two 7mm high resolution LED video walls via a Ross Carbonite Black switcher. Social media software developed by RCS also allowed the system operator to also share live tweets as graphics throughout the production. To feed pre-recorded sponsor commercials to the walls, the crew relied on a D3 media server.

Lauding the efforts of RCS and OSA’s teams, Schwartz expressed, “They were professional and knowledgeable, and exhibited an extensive range of capabilities; they were also ready to tackle any challenge we encountered along the way. Their technology and integration into our operation was flawless and far exceeded our expectations.”

Schwartz and his team received an overwhelmingly positive response to the new video walls and content from attendees, sponsors and the larger air show community. By modernizing the show’s workflow, they were able to bring the entire crowd views formerly not visible due to depth and distance. “For the first time ever, audiences could see aircraft ground performances and subsequent maintenance and aircraft taxi operations,” Schwartz explained. “Being able to live stream the festivities and post a recording on YouTube after the event was icing on top of the cake. We were not only able to create a unique fan-centric experience while also promoting the show and Air Force messaging, but also to extend market reach for our advertisers.”

Furthermore, the setup enabled MacDill to safeguard attendees with real-time weather warnings through mass messaging capabilities and a live feed of weather map data, so the crowd could see when a storm was coming and retreat to the hangars. “Though we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of integrating in-cockpit audio/video, real-time aircraft statistics and advertising/sponsorship integration, we’ve set a new standard for production in the airshow industry with successful deployment of this workflow and plan to continue working with RCS and OSA to see how we might apply their expertise in other facets of our operations,” added Schwartz.

Since AirFest 2016, RCS and OSA have fielded several inquiries from bases and commercial air shows interested in coordinating similar caliber productions for upcoming events.

Article Source

"AirFest 2016 Live Production Reaches New Heights With Modern AV Workflow From RCS And OSA" by Live Design

About OSA

OSA International, Inc. consistently produces unforgettable live events of every type and scale. With over 30 years of experience, OSA utilizes the finest in project management, LED, video equipment and audio systems through our offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville. Our engineering expertise and industry leading technologies combine with client visions to deliver spectacular results every time. From concept to completion, OSA is with you every step of the way. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

About RCS

Reality Check Systems (RCS) ignites on-air viewing experiences for some of the most-watched events events on television. With offices in Los Angeles and London, RCS partners with the world’s leading sports leagues, federations, networks and social media giants to fuel audience engagement through a customized fusion of dynamic graphics, real-time data and social media. To give shape to each client’s unique vision, RCS develops sophisticated graphics and production systems that can be seamlessly deployed in a wide array of professional environments. www.realitychecksystems.com

About TrellisWare Technologies

TrellisWare Technologies is a global leader in highly advanced communication algorithms, waveforms, and communication systems that work when nothing else does. TrellisWare provides solutions to communication problems with products that are used in military and commercial settings worldwide. Learn more at www.TrellisWare.com/

Angel Banchs' Photo

Vice President of Engineering Angel Banchs Joins the OSA International, Inc. Team

OSA International Continues to Grow Live Events Team With Industry’s Top Talent

Las Vegas, Chicago and NashvilleOSA International, Inc., one of the industry’s leading audio visual solutions providers for live events and entertainment, continues to build its live events team in 2015 with several new specialized team members, including Vice President of Engineering Angel Banchs who is well-known and respected in the industry.

"Over the past four years, when OSA purchased Media Solutions in 2011, our video and multimedia projects have significantly grown in both volume and innovative capabilities," states OSA International’s CEO & Founder Mario Educate. "As a result, we’ve brought on some of the best video talent for live events and entertainment as well as increased our inventory with the latest technology and LED to ensure we create an environment that brings our clients’ visions to reality."

A recent addition to the team, Banchs brings an impressive technical background as a video engineer, design engineer, technical director, and audio engineer. He is also an equipment designer and manufacturer and has designed custom parts and assemblies for rock tours, television studios, motion pictures and other events.

Most recently, Banchs was a freelance video engineer for 15 years and during that time worked on a variety of large-scale events for OSA. His primary focus is on large format video systems for broadcast and corporate events, and he is certified on Barco Encore, FSN, Encore 2 and Vista Spyder systems.

"I am excited to be on the OSA team," says Banchs. "I had the opportunity to work with OSA over the years and have always been impressed with the team’s drive and positive attitude they bring to the table on a daily basis. It’s important to me to work with professionals who keep cool under pressure and maintain their professionalism to ensure the client’s expectations are met and exceeded."

"We maintain our reputation of delivering the highest-quality service and solutions by employing top industry talent, such as Angel, who have the same client-centric mindset and drive to continually enhance the client and audience experience," says Educate.

Currently, Banchs is touring with the OSA Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) team to support the epic arena, designed by Production Designer Bruce Rodgers, owner of Tribe Design, which includes an 180,000-pound structure suspended above the ring and encased in nearly 2,000 LED tiles owned by OSA. The arena itself is also surrounded by numerous curved LED displays showing a variety of content to set the stage. To successfully accomplish a rigorous and detail-oriented project such as the PBC tour, it’s critical to have the right team in place to make the event come to life.

Learn more about OSA International, Inc. at www.OSAcorp.com.

About OSA International, Inc.

OSA International, Inc. is your audio visual solutions partner for live events and entertainment since 1985. Our reputation is unmatched in the industry for providing the ultimate client and audience experience. We offer a complete suite for a variety of events, including state-of-the-art sound reinforcement, engineering, multimedia and video displays, along with comprehensive technical direction and production services. Every client receives the highest quality of service, technology, and more importantly the best talent in the industry to take your vision to reality. We are a national leader in custom live event technology for auto shows, large-scale meetings and events, festivals and concerts, exhibits and tradeshows, and some of the largest sporting events in the world. OSA International, Inc. is the parent company of Integrated Solutions and M.T. Custom Cases, offering our clients an array of services and products within the audio visual industry. OSA has offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Nashville. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

Steely Dan Tour 2015

OSA Expands Nation’s Largest Martin Audio MLA Inventory

OSA International, Inc. of Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville recently purchased additional MLA enclosures to increase what is already the nation’s largest inventory of Martin Audio’s award-winning loudspeaker line.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary of top-quality live production work for tours, corporate shows, product launches, TV broadcasts and special events, OSA just added 26 MLA and 18 MLA Compact enclosures to its already full line inventory.

Because of MLA’s consistent front to back audience coverage, exceptional clarity and noise overspill control, OSA has recently used the system for two Steely Dan national tours, the Firefly Music Festival, IFC Stage at SXSW, NBC’s Premier Boxing Champions, The Pavilion at Ravinia, the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala and Concert, The Broadway League featuring Gloria Estefan and a variety of other corporate and special events.

Commenting on the recent purchase, OSA Vice President Jim Risgin said, “Martin Audio’s MLA continues to be a runaway success, making us busier than ever in our 30th Anniversary year. We continue to add inventory to service our locations and other MLA partners as demand for these boxes continues to increase, which is a testament to Martin Audio’s breakthrough technology and engineering team that keeps the system one step ahead.

“We’ve seen other box manufacturers say they offer optimization and steering, but there’s still nothing on the market that comes close to the feature set of MLA, nor delivers it as successfully and consistently as MLA. Martin Audio continues to improve with every update, using its years of real life experience. Once our customers try MLA, they don’t want to use anything else and that’s a big reason why we continue to be successful.”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About Martin Audio®

Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

About OSA International, Inc.

OSA International, Inc. is your audiovisual solutions partner for live events and entertainment since 1985. Our reputation is unmatched in the industry for providing the ultimate client and audience experience. We offer a complete suite for a variety of events, including state-of-the-art sound reinforcement, engineering, multimedia and video displays, along with comprehensive technical direction and production services. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

30-Year Anniversary Logo

OSA International, Inc. Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary as a Leader in Technical Services for Live Events and Entertainment

Over the Span of 30-Years, OSA has Earned a Reputation for Delivering the Ultimate Client and Audience Experience

Las Vegas, Chicago and NashvilleOSA International, Inc., a leading global technical event services company, announces its 30-year anniversary of providing high-end audio design and reinforcement, premier multimedia and video solutions, and full-service technical direction and production services.

Throughout OSA’s 30-year journey there has been, and continues to be, significant advances in technology for the events and entertainment industry. A goal since the company’s inception, OSA’s dedicated to exceeding its clients’ expectations by continuously making R&D investments to grow its inventory with state of the art technology and providing its technicians and engineers with the training necessary to create the ultimate client and audience experience.

Initially, clients sought out OSA for its premier audio solutions, designed and operated by the industry’s highly-experienced engineers. It didn’t take long before clients requested full-service technical and production services, so they could work with a single, trusted partner.

In 2011, OSA took its video division to a new level and purchased Media Solutions, one of the most reputable custom multimedia and video display companies in the industry. Similar to OSA, Media Solutions was known for its highly skilled and dedicated talent behind the technology, making this a natural merger.

“Over the past 30 years, OSA has grown methodically, both in talent and technology,” says OSA International’s CEO & Founder Mario Educate. “Our team consists of highly talented and industry respected engineers, technicians, and technical directors who all have the same dedicated mindset of providing the best solution and performance as possible for each and every client.”

Over the past 30 years, OSA has proactively sought-out new event technology and collaborated with major manufacturers, such as Martin Audio, JBL, and Shure, on product development – giving OSA a pulse on what’s to come as well as being the first to engage in training.

“It’s essential to have the right technology to support any type of event for our clients and ensure we offer the solution they want,” adds Educate.

OSA’s role is to take its client’s vision to reality and do what it takes to make it a simple and seamless experience. Today, OSA provides comprehensive technical services to some of the largest corporate and sporting events, and tours across the globe such as Premier Boxing Champions, NBA meetings and events, BMI Music Awards and Steely Dan.

Additionally, OSA is the parent company to OSA Integrated Solutions and M.T. Custom Cases. OSA Integrated Solutions is a high-profile commercial and residential solutions provider for audio, visual, automation, lighting and staging systems. M.T. is a leader in custom road and flight cases and known for its quality craftsmanship, durability, attention to detail, and service.

“Everyone at OSA truly appreciates and thanks each and every client for their business over the past 30 years,” says Educate. “There are many clients who have been with us since the beginning and we are privileged to continue to add new events and projects each year. Thank you.”

About OSA International, Inc.

OSA International, Inc. is your audio visual solutions partner for live events and entertainment since 1985. Our reputation is unmatched in the industry for providing the ultimate client and audience experience. We offer a complete suite for a variety of events, including state-of-the-art sound reinforcement, engineering, multimedia and video displays, along with comprehensive technical direction and production services. Every client receives the highest quality of service, technology, and more importantly the best talent in the industry to take your vision to reality. We are a national leader in custom live event technology for auto shows, large-scale meetings and events, festivals and concerts, exhibits and tradeshows, and some of the largest sporting events in the world. OSA International, Inc. is the parent company of Integrated Solutions and M.T. Custom Cases, offering our clients an array of services and products within the audio visual industry. OSA has offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Nashville. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

PBC Video Scoreboard Using Absen LED

OSA International, Inc. Significantly Increases Video and Multimedia Technology

OSA International, Inc. Supplements Inventory with Absen LED, Barco Processors and New 4K Technologies

Las Vegas, Chicago and Nashville – OSA International, Inc., one of the industry’s leading custom technical services providers for live events and entertainment, continues to nurture its reputation for being at the forefront of event technology by proactively keeping a pulse on new equipment and trends in the industry.

Event technology continuously evolves year over year, giving producers and event planners the support to take their creativity to the next level. As a technical service provider for live events and entertainment, OSA feels it is important to have the right technology and professional talent on hand to take its clients’ visions to reality – always striving to exceed expectations for every event.

“We own the majority of the equipment we use on show site for quality control, gear proficiency, and to help our clients stay within budget by reducing or eliminating sub–rentals,” says OSA International’s CEO and Founder Mario Educate. “As event technology advances, we ensure we have a wide variety of equipment and the right solutions to create a positive and memorable experience for our clients.”

“Another benefit of owning the equipment is our specialized teams have the opportunity to learn and master the technology to maximize its capabilities before getting to show site,” adds Educate.

When it comes to multimedia and video display technology, OSA has one of the largest and advanced inventories of Barco and Absen LED, LED scenic video and lighting, flat panel displays, film screens, HD multi–imaging, video projection, HD and SD camera systems, 4K technology and multimedia processing systems. Most recently, OSA added to its inventory to include the following new event technology:

  • Absen LED – 3.9mm, 7.25mm and 20mm mesh
  • Barco E2 – 4K Screen Management
  • Barco Image Pro II Jr.
  • Sony® BRC–Z330 HD CMOS Cameras
  • Sound Devices Pix 270i Recorders

This year, 2000 of OSA’s new Absen HD LED tiles are displayed on the set of NBC’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), encasing the impressive 180,000-pound structure suspended above the ring. OSA, the technical production company, production company, and technical service provider, has been touring throughout North America with PBC since March, delivering custom video solutions for each match and using the latest technology to achieve the grand effect designed by PBC’s Production Designer Bruce Rodgers, owner of Tribe Design.

OSA is responsible for accomplishing some of the most creative and inspiring displays today. Working closely with its clients from the onset of the project, OSA’s video team defines goals, and looks at every angle to choose the best technology, or designs custom solutions, to take the vision to fruition. Knowing there is only one chance to get it right, OSA defines a contingency plan and builds redundancies into each system to eliminate any potential issues.

Learn more information about OSA’s inventory and new technology on its website.

Premier Boxing Champions's Impressive LED Display using Absen LED

About OSA International, Inc.

OSA International, Inc. is your technical service partner for live events and entertainment since 1985. Our reputation is unmatched in the industry for providing the ultimate client and audience experience. We offer a complete suite for a variety of events, including high-end sound reinforcement, engineering, multimedia and video displays, along with comprehensive technical direction and production services. Every client receives the highest quality of service, technology, and more importantly the best talent in the industry to take your vision to reality. OSA International, Inc. is the parent company of On Stage Audio, Media Solutions, Integrated Solutions, and M.T. Custom Cases, offering our clients an array of services and products within the audio visual industry. OSA has offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Nashville. Learn more about OSA at www.OSAcorp.com.